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Kuraray: Diversifying its product offering for a greener future

Article - October 6, 2022

As part of its commitment to providing environmental solutions, Kuraray has expanded its activated carbon business, which contributes to water and air purification. The company also strives to expand reactivated carbon, which will further contribute to the realization of a circular economy.


“We’re out to ensure the environmental solutions business becomes one of the major pillars supporting our profits.”
Hitoshi Kawahara, President & Representative Director, Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Catering to a variety of industries, Kuraray is a leading supplier of resins, chemicals, and fibers as well as activated carbon and other products.

“Even amid the pandemic, demand remained steady, reaffirming that the products we handle are essential materials that society truly needs,” says Hitoshi Kawahara, Kuraray’s president. Indeed, the company posted record net sales in 2021.

Looking to the future, Kuraray’s ‘PASSION 2026’ medium-term plan seeks to embrace products that reduce environmental impact. “We’re developing solid business growth scenarios to ensure the environmental solutions business becomes a major pillar supporting our profits,” President Kawahara explains.

Kuraray has also stepped up its investment in the activated carbon business, which contributes to water and air purification. In 2018, it acquired the world’s largest activated carbon firm, U.S.-based Calgon Carbon Corporation, and its European operations, Chemviron S.A. It has since steadily invested in boosting its capacity. Going forward, Kuraray will pursue the value of reactivated carbon, which reuses activated carbon, as the company strives to expand its global business, especially in Asia. Reactivated carbon reduces CO2 emissions in manufacturing processes by 80%, which is markedly higher than the reduction achieved by virgin activated carbon. President Kawahara adds: “Our mission is to combine the accumulated technologies and knowledge of Kuraray’s carbon material business with those owned by Calgon.”

Such collaboration is a key tenet of ‘PASSION 2026’. “Throughout our history, we’ve concentrated on unique technologies, but we cannot maintain sustainable growth with only such a narrow focus,” President Kawahara says. “It became clear that collaboration and the exchange of technologies was necessary.”

A company with a significant international presence, Kuraray is targeting continued global growth.